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^F '6b3 tQSl Mo." street 

BU Rochester, Nt« fo-k U6C9 USA 

^S (7161 »8; - 05Q0 - Pnone 

^^ (716) 268 - 5989 - Foi 

Revelations of the 
Last German Ambassador 
in England 





with a preface by 


Liplii Nnr Vaik T«t«at* & MiiH a f c 
1 • 1 • 




19 12-1914. 


Prince Lichnowsky 

l.ale (ierniaii Ambassador in Ijijjl.iiid 

With a Preface by 

Professor Gii.bkrt Murray 

Author of "The Pi.liry of 
Sir Edward tjrcy," etu. 




- 0: 

nroGKAPiiicAr, xotr. 

JHK .m.hor.of .h,. I„r, nnK pa^.s, K.-.H M,, 
Iniuc. [.i.htirwsky. is a mpmbi-r of .-, \ „„■],■, h„l,|. ,,,;u..s bnil, i„ (;,,,„,,„ ^„„j ^^,^„.,,^,^ 
Silfsia, and has an lu-rcdiiarv sc, 
of th.' Prussian Di.-i 
Prince a 

1' In ihe ''pprr ||,,iiso 
''"■ f'"!!''!- ' til.- presi-nt 


mcl Ills |)n(li-i-,--,„,i III til,' ilil,. , 1. ■ 

' "I III ini iiiir \, ,^ .1 I'nissian 

'■^'valrv .u,-n,ral, «!„, .,t ll,,- ,.,i,| „l Ms i|f,. ,,, ,-,. 
s."m.varslntl,rK-uli-ia,i;;,s, „„.,iil,.r ,,l ',\,.'. I,',,,' 
ConstTxalivi- I'arn . 

His uncle. I'rin,,. K-Hx, was Wecled ,n i.Si.s ,„ 
reprcse,,, Ra.ilior in the Gennan Xallnnai Assemblv 
at l'rank.or..on.Main ; h.: was an acive „,e,nher of 
t.nnservat,ve win;;, an,! ,l,.rin^' the Septetnh, : 
nclinj; with General Aiierswai.l in the 
"e,s l,.,urhon.l „f ,he eitv, was attacked and 
murdered hv the nioh. 

The pre^iet^t Prn,ce, after serving ,n the Prussian 
armv, ,n whtch he holds the rank of Majo,, entered 
the diplomatic service. He was in iSS.s for a sho-t attached to the Gennan Kmbassv in [.ondon 
and afterwards became Councillor of ' Embassv !■,' 
\ enna. From .899 .0 ,904 he was entplove.l ,n 
the German Foreign Office, and rec.ived th,'- rvi^ 
and title ot Minister Plenipotentiary. 



In I9H hv retired to his Silesian estates, and 
as he states, lived for eight years the life of a coun- 
try gentleman, but read industriously and published 
occasional political articles. He himself recounts 
the c,rcun,stances in which he was appointed 
Ambassador m London on the death of Baron 
Marschall von Bieb.-ruein. 

Baron Marschall, who had been Secretary for 
Foreign Affairs under the Chancellorships of Count 
Cap.-ivi and for a time under Prince Hohenlohe, had 
achieved great success as Ambassador at Constan- 
tinople, and also, from the German point of view as 
chief Ger.nan Plenipotentiary at the St-cond Hague 
Conference in 1907. Baron Marschall was, to use 
an expression of Bismarck's, "the best horse in 
Germany's diplomatic stable." And great things were 
expected of him in Londo :. But he lived only a few 
months after his appointment. 

Prince Lichno;vsl<y's high social rank, his agreeable 
manners, and the generous hospitality which he showed 
in Carlton House Terrace gave him a position in 
Knghsh society which facilitated the negotiations 
between England and Germany, and did much to 
diminish the friction that had arisen during the 
time that Prince BiJlow held the post of German 

The pamphlet which is here translated gives an 
account of his London mission; after his return to 
Germany he has lived in retirement in the country, but 
has contributed occasional articles to the Press. The 
pamphlet, which was xvritten in August, 1916, was 


not intended f.jr paWlcallon, Inii »ms dislribm.-d 
conhdentially (o a few fnt-nds. riu- t-xisUnce of 
It had long been known, but it was onlv in March 
of this year that for the first lime extraols from 
it were published in the Swedish paper Po/itU-en. 
Longer extracts have since appeared i„ the I.omlnn 
Press; for the first time a complete translation made 
from the German original is now placed before the 


j^EVER pL-rli.ips In history has the world seen 
so great an exhibition, as at the outbreak of this 
war, of the inurtlerous and corrupting power of the 
organised he. All Germany outsidi- thi: governmental 
circles was induced to believe that tlv war was a 
treacherous attack, plotted in thv dark by " revengeful 
France, barbaric Russia^ and envious England," 
against the innocent and peact;-loving Fatherland. 
And the centre of the plot was the Machiavellian 
(irey, who for long years had been encircling and 
strangling G.rmany in order at the chosen moment 
to deal her a death-blow from behind. The 
Emperor, the princes, the ministers, the bishops 
and chaplains, the historians and theologians, in part 
consciously and in part innocently, vied with one 
another in solemn attestations and ingenious forgrries 
of evidence ; and the people, docile by training and 
long indoctrinated to the hatred of England, inevitabl-, 
believed and passionately exaggerated what they were 
told. From this belief, in large part, came the 
strange brutalities and ferocities of the common people; 
of Germany at the opening of thenar, whether towards 
p Tsons who had a right to courtesy, like the .\mbas- 
s.idors, or a claim on common hum. in sympathv, like 
the wounded and the piisoners. The German masses 
could show no mercy towards people guilty of so 
hi Ipous a world-crime. 


And „ovv coM,.s c-VKl.Mce, wlucl, In „„,,„al ti.nes 
would conv,n,.. ,..,, .h. G-nna,, na.iun, .,... I 
w ole ,. ,s o U... b:.|„.f .... , ,,,,,,,^. ,f' j.,ibU ; 
falsehood ; shows that it was th. Kaiser ad h 
M.n,s.ers wo plotted th.,- war; while It was England 
and espe..,ally Sir Kdward Grey, who strove ha^ '' 
for the preservation of peace. 

It is the evidence of the Ger.nan A„,f.assador i„ 
1-ondondur.n,. the years ;,,3-,„4, p.inee Mchnowsk 

Herr von Jagow, who w-as, Foreign Minister at the, and earned further by the recently published 
Memoranda of Herr Mi.hlon, one of the director of 

he Krupp arn,an,ent factory at Essen One could 
hardly ,„.agn.e n.ore convincing test.n.onv. VVIll th 
German people beheve it? Would thev believe now i 
one rose from the dead? 

We cannot yet guess at the answer. Indeed there 
P -"her quesfon which ntust be answered fir 
For what, and with what possible change If 
pohcy .n v-ew, has the German Governtnent permuted 
t e pubhcafon of these papers and the cLul on 
of I .chnowsky's Memorandum as a p.,mph t ° 
30 Pfenmg? Do the militarists thmk til trLmph 
-fe and the fme come for them to throw offthl 
mask? Or have the opponents of militarism who 
seeme so crus ed, succeeded in asserting thei 
power ? Is ,t a plan to induce the ever docile Sermln 
populace to hate England less ? ""man 

It nmst be a startling story for the Germans, bu, 
forus,tco„t,.nsi,„,ethatisnew. !t is an absi 


confirmation, in spirit and in letter, of th.- Mritish Blue 
Hook and of Enijlish books such as Mr. Hp.-.dl.i.u'.s 
"Hi.story of Twelve fXiys" and Mr. .Anh.-r's "Thirl.u.n 
Days." Prince Liclinowsky's awnunuf^-up ,ic,rees 
exactly with the British conclusions : fh,. Germans 
encouraged Count Berchtold to attack Serbia, well 
knowing the consequences to expect ; between the 23rd 
and 30th July they ^ejected all forms of mediation ; and 
on the 30th July, when Austria wished to withdraw, they 
Hastily sent an ultimatum to Russia so as to make 
withdrawal impossible (pp. 39.40). A ghastiv storv 
of bimdness and crime ; but we knew it all before. 

Equally interesting is Prince Lichnowsky's account 
of the policy of Germany and England b.fore the war 
He confirms our knowledge of the "sinister vagueness" 
of German policy in Morocco, the sie.idv desire of 
England to come to an understanding and of Germany 
to elude an understanding. As for our alleged envy 
of Gerrnm trade, it was ,n English commercial 
circles that the desire for an unders.atiding with 
Germany was strongest. As for our ■■ policy of 
encirclement," it was the deliberate .urn of ' our 
policy, continuing the line of Lord Salisbury and 
Mr. Chamberlain, to facilitate rather than hinder the 
legitimate and peaceful expansion of a great force 
which would become dangerous if suppressed and 

The test cases were the f^.-.gdad Kailwav and 
the Portuguese Colonies. We agreed to make no 
objection to Genn.u.y's buying them when Portugal 
was willing to sell ; we agreed in the meantime to 


tr«t ,l,e,n as a German sphere „f i„,,,est and 
"ot to compete for influence tlu-re. We airreed 
subiect to the of existing British 
nghts and lo certain „,l,er safe>,n>arrls to the 
co.nplet.on of the great railway from the IJo.phoru. 
to Basra, and to the recognition of the whole 
district tapped In- th. ralhv.v as a German sphere 
of mterest. The two tre.ties, though c.npleted 
were never signed; why? liecause Grey would sign 
no secret treaty. He insisted ,h:,t thev must be 
pubhshed. And the German Go.ernment' would not 
allow them to be published: To Lichnowsky th-s 
seemed hke mere spite on the part of rivals who grudged 
h.s success, but we see now that it was a deliberate 
policy. The war-makers could not afford to let their 
people know the proof of England's goodwill. 

Lichnowsky was a friend of England, but he was 
no pac.hst or "little German." His policy w=s to 
favour the peaceful expansion of Germanv, in crood 
nndersfandmg with England and France, on the '"seas 
and m the colonies. He aimed at " imperial develop'- 
ment" on lines; he abhorred the "Triple 
Alliance policy" of espousing Austria's quarn-ls 
backmg Turkey against the Balkan States, intriguing 
agamst Russia, and seeing all politics in the terms of 
Puropean rivalries with a background of war. His 
own policy was one which, if followed loyally by the 
German Government, would have avoicied the war and 
saved Europe. 

There are one or two traits in I.ichnowsky's 
language which show that, with all his liberality of 


lliouMlil, lu; ,s Mill a (.,-r„uM. II,. ...;l-,|.u al once 
-11 th.' rrport of a Grrn.a,, srcrrt a^rut, the falsJ 
stateineiu thai Grey hail cotu:lu.l,-d a se.-n-t tr.aty u-ith 
■■ranee, lie mentions, as if it u.-r,- a natural 'thing, 
.ue strange opinion that the SUuuiard was 'apparentlv' 
bought by Austria." He describes Mr. Asquith as -i and Sir Kdu-.ird (irev as both a pacifist and 
Ideally a.,d practically, a Socialist. One must remember 
the sort of views he was accustomed to at Potsdam. 

There can be no doubt that Lichnowsky was 
deliberately deceived by his Government, and not much 
that he waLS chosen for his post in London with a view 
to deceivin^r us. The: things are all in gospel 
according to IJernhardi. I.ichnowskv hims..|f was 
both an honest and an able diplomatist, and there i.s 
■.he ring of sincerity in his words of self-reproach ■ " | 
had to support in London a policv the heresy of which 
1 recognised. That brought down vengea ice on me 
for It was a sin against the Holy Glin,i." ' 

If Grey, in the tangle of ternlic problems that 
surrounded him, ever erred, his sin was net against il„. 
Holy Ghost. The attack made on him at the outset 
of the war by Radical idealists was easy to confute 
If ever a statesman strove, with due prudence for 
peace, for friendship between nations, for a transforma- 
tion of armed rivalries into cordial and democratic 
understandings, our great English Minister was that 
man. He was accused as a maker of secret treaties • 
and we find him all through the times of peace, and 
through all times when choice was still possible a 
steady refuser of secret treaties. He was accused' as 


•' ^'**'«" for territonr ; and we firH t,;™ k u • 

.ian«erous war of nocJi.,:, 7 ''"'''''•'- -d 
^'nd the policv th„ f ""■" ■'""'"••^Pli'-re, 

«orld was' pe ce T ""'T '" '^'■^' "'"'" ""^ 

wealth and rebuild he sh u 1 T'"" ;''' "'^^'^^ 
' 'Hink ,.0. English^;: ;t^^;;'^;--;'-7- 
was, as vv all thou^^ht it at Ih., '^•'' ,^'''>- ^ P^'^^y 
the wise policy. To le, I, , T?' """ "^''' ''•"d 

would neter jL i,[ J 'a ;^^^^ 

never pertnit iny atta on Ftnt To""'!' '" """'^ 
all causes of friction between f;,', ^d T""^^ 
as they had been removed betweent^rdlt^r'' 
and between England and Russia to e.i^r 
Entente Cordiale " h„ j ■ extend the 

who would col to iJ'fd?!''-'''^ '° ^" "''''°- 
of Europe nearer.' ;',•;' ^ '"I' '"V^ ^™"Ps 


son,e day e the right policv again. ' ''''^'' 

No Englishman, I ,hink, will regret the .e„ 
courtesy wh ch sent off th» r . «t'iierous 

a .uari of honour '1;^^™" "'""'"^ -■'" 
' ""^ a^.departing sovereign," No 


one m\\ regrrt our Prime Minister's silent tears when 
the war became inevitable, or Grey's conviction that 
It would be ■' .he greatest catastrophe in history "— 
not even if mad Ger.nan militarists drew the conclusion 
that the only motive for such «ri,f must be the fear 
of defeat. For my own part I am glad that, at thr 
last interview with Lichnowsky, (Jrry assured him that, 
if ever a chance came of medial inn between the com- 
batants, he would take it, an.l th.ii "we have never 
■wished to crush Germanv." 

Surely, even now in ihe crisis of the war, it is w.-II 
to remember these things. The cleaner our national 
conscience the keener surely will be our will to victory 
The slower we were to give up the traditions of 
i,'enerosity .md trustfulness that came from our long 
security the firmer will be our resolution to hold out 
through whatever martyrdom may be yet in store for 
us, until we or our childien can afford once more tc, 
live generously and to trust our neighbours. In the 
long run no other life is worth living. 


TN September, iqij. Baron Marschill died after hr had 
only hern at hi-i post in London for » few month.s. Hi.s 
appointment, which no doubt was principally due to his age 
ind the desire of hi> Junior i>ffi( er to go to London, was 
one of the many mistake!: of our policy. 

In spite of his strilcing personality and jjfat reputation, I.. 
was too old and too tired to adjust himself to iln .\nglo-Saxon 
world, which was cuinpletely alien to him ; he «as rather an 
official and a lawyir than a diplonnt and slati-sm.m. Krom the 
very bi;f;inning he was at pains to convince tin- Knglish 
of the harmlessnfss of He,-t. and naturally Ibu only 
produced the contrary rft.Ht. 

Much to my surprise, 1 offered the post in i)nohcr. 
I had retired to the country as a " Personalr, fertnl " after 
m^^ny years of activity, there being then no suitable post 
ayailable for me I passed my time between flax and turnips, 
among horses and m.-adows, read extensively, and orcasionallv 
published political fssays. 

Thus I had spent eight years, and it was thirte.n 
since 1 had left the Kmba-^sy at Vienna with the rank 
of Envoy. That had been my last real sphere of political 
activity, as in those days such activity was impossible unless 
one «as prepared to help a half-craiy chief in drafting his 
ciotdiety orders with their crabbed instructions 

MY MISSION ro LONDON 19131914 

I do not know «1„. «r», regpon.ible for mr being 
.p|)ointed to Undon It »;., certainly not Hue to H.M. 
ilone -I wat nol one of his intimat^«, il,., igh he wai at all 
t.raes Braciou, (., ,„.. | ,1,0 {„„.»• i>y experience that hi> 
nominrrs grnrrajiy met with successful opposition. Herr 
von Ki.h-rlen had reallv „antr.l lo .end llrrr von Stumm to 
London ; He immi-diat<-ly manifested unmistakable ill-will 
lowards me, and endeavoured t„ ,„ wnidate m^ by hi, 
mcivi ||„r von Hethmann Hollwrs was at that lime 

kindl) |,o,ed towards mr. and had paid me a visit at ClrStz 
only a short time before I am therefore inclined to think 
that they all agreed on me l,e,ause no other caiulidate was 
available at the moment. Hut for Haron Marschall's 
unexpected death, I .hould no more 4iave been called out 
of retirement then than at any other time during all those 
previous year>. 


It was cerulnly the right moment for a new effort to 
•sLiblish better relations with England. Our enigmatic 
\Ior ,cco |,oiicy h.,d repeatedly shaken confidence in our pacific 
. it-ntions. .M the very least, it had given rise to the suspicion 
th,-.t we did nol quite know what we wanted, or that it was 
our oliject to keep Kurope on the jut vive, and, «nen 
opportunity offered, to humiliate France. An Austrian col- 
league, who ha.; hern in I'aris for a long time, said to me 
■' Whenever the IVenrh begin to forget al.out rwnr**, you 
always remind iliem of it with a jack-boot ' 

After we ha.l repulsed M Delcass^s efforts to arrive at 
an understanding with us aboul Morocco, and prior 10 that 
had formally declared that we had no political interests there 
—which conformed to the traditions of the Bismarclcian 
p„|i,y— we suddenly diicovered a second Krilger in Abdul 

MV MISSU)N l() I ONHKN I9l3-iqi4 

Am VV'r issurnl him ul»ii, likr the Hufrs, of ihr |ii..iri lii.i 
of Ihr mighty (iiTiiun tiii|iirr, with Ihf wiiw ilispl.n ami thr 
>*me ri-»ult ; both ilrmonsir^iiions lermiriati-U with imr retreat, 
•u they were bound to di>, if wr had not alriiiilv made u|i 
our minils In rml.ark on Ihr world-war. Th.- di>tre!isin(; 
congress at Alj;e^ couM not i hanj;e ihii in any wav, .«lill 
leu the fall of M. 

Our attitude promoted the Rusio-Japanrse and later ih. 
Anglo.J,i|]ancsr i.i,frt>chement. In faie of " tlii- (jennan 
Peril " all other diSerences faded into the background. Th< 
(lo.ssibility of a new Kranco-Germun war had bnonii- 
apparent, and such a war could not, ai in iSyo, leave 
either Ku>sia or England unaffected. 

rh' ust IcsMiess of the I'riplr Alliance had been shown at 
.Mgiyiras, while that of the agreements arrived ai there- 
was demonstrated shortly afterwards by the collap-e of th. 
Sultanate, which, of course, could not be prevented. Among 
the German people, however, the belief gained ground that 
our foreign policy was feeble and wa» giving way befrr,- 
the " F.ncirrlrment " — that high-sounding phra^e5 wer. 
succeeded by pusillanimous surrender. 

It is to the > redit of Herr von Kiderlen, who is otherwise 
overrated as a statesman, that he wound up our Moroccan 
inheritance a^d accepted as they were the facts that could no 
longer be altered. Whether, indeed, it was necessary to 
alarm the world by the Agadir incident I will leave others to 
say. It was jubilantly acclaimed in Germany, but it had 
caused all the more dis(|uiet in England because the Govern- 
ment were kept waiting for three weeks for an explanation 
of our intentions. Unyd (ieorge's speech which was meant 
as a warning to us, was the consequence. Before Delcass^'s 
fall, and before Ali^ryiras, we might h?ve had a harbour and 
territory on the West Coast, but after those eventi it waj 


MY MISSfON TO lONDON 191 j., 9, 4 

When 1 came to London in Novrmber, ,g„, ,|„ excitr- 
mentov.-r Morocco had .ubsi.l.d, asan agreement wi.h France 
had been reached ,n Berlin ,t is true that Haldanes mission 
had fa,led a. we had required the assurance of neutrality, 
instead of being content with a treaty .ecuring us agains 
Bnfsh atta-ks and attacks with British support vf Si! 
Edward Grey had not relinquished the idea of arriving a an 
agreement with us, and in the first place tried to do this in 
.olonial ar-i economic questions. Conversation, were in 
progress -h the capable and business-like Envoy von 
KDhlmann cor .erring the renewal of the Portuguese colonial 
agreement and Mesopotamia (Bagdad Railway), the unavowed 
object of was to divide both the colonies and Asia 
Minor into spheres of influence. 

The BritUh statesman, after having settled all outstanding 
pom.s of difrerence with I-Vance and Russia, wished to make 
.simj^ar agreements with us It was not his object to isolate 
us, but to the best of his power to make us partners in the,ng assooation. As he had succeeded in overcoming 
A_glo-French and Anglo-Russian differences, .0 he also 
w..hed to do his best to eliminate the Anglo-German, and by 
a network of treaties, which would in the end no doubt have led 
loan agreement about the troublesome question of naval arn,a 
ments, to ensure the peace of the world, after our previous 
policy had led to an association-the Entente-which 
represented a mutual insurance against the risk of war 

Thts was Sir E. Grey's plan. In his own words ; Without 
interfenng with our existing friendship with France and 
Russia, has no aggressive aims and does not entail 
any binding obligations on England, to arrive at a friendly 
rafprtchemtnt and understanding with Germany, "to brine 
the two groups nearer." 


As wiUi us, there were two parties i- linglan.i at that 
time— the Optimists, who believed in an uiulerstanjing, and 
the Pessimists, who thouijht that sooner or later war wa- 

The former enibrai ed Messrs. Asquiih, Grey, Lord Haldane 
and most of the Ministers i.i the Radical Cabinet; also 
the leading Liberal papers, such as the IVestminster Gazette, 
.ifanchester Guardian, Daily Chronicle. The Pessimist.s 
were mainly Conservative politicians like Mr. Balfour, who 
repeatedly made this clear to me; also leading Army men, 
like Lord Roberts, who pointed out the necessity of universal 
military service ('■ The Writing on the Wall ") ; further, the 
Northcliffe Press and the eminent tnglish journalist Mr. 
Garvin, of The Observer. During my period of office, how- 
ever, they abstained from all attacks, and maintained both 
personally and politically a friendly attitude. But our naval 
policy and our attitude in 1905, 1908, and 19,1 had aroused 
m them the conviction that after all it would some day 
come to war. Just as it is with us, the former are now 
being accused in England of short-sightedness and simplicity 
whereas the latter are looked on as the true prophets. 


The first Balkan War had led to the cillapse of Turkey 
and thus to a defeat for our policy, which had been identified 
with Turkey for a number of years. Since Turkey in Europe 
could no longer be saved, there were two ways in which we 
could deal with the inheritance ; either we could declare our 
complete disinterestedness with regard to the frontier delimita- 
tions and leave the Balkan Powers to settle them, or we could 
support our " Allies " and carry on a Triple Alliance policy in 
the Near East, thus giving up the rdle of mediator. 

From the very beginning I advocated the former course 
but the Foreign Office emphatically favoured tho Utter 


Th. vital ,„.„t was the Albanian question. Our Allies 
.ies.redthces.ab„sl,ment of an independent Albanian sta" 
«the Austnans did no. want th. S.rbs to obtain access to 
h. Adr,at„., .„„ „,. Ualian. did ,„.t want the Creeks to .« 
to Valona or even to the north of Corfu. As opposed to this 
Russ,a as ,s known, was barki,,. .Serbia'.s wishes and France 
those of Greece, 

My advice was to treat this question as the scop, 
of the Alh,.nce, and to support neither the Austrian nor 
he Ita ,an cla.n.s. Without our aid it would have bee,, 
.mposstble .0 se> „p an independent Albania, as any- 
one cou d foresee, had no prospect of surviving; Serbia wou d 
have extended to the sea, and the present world-war would 
have been avo.ded. France and Italy would have quarrelled 
over Greece, and ,f the Italians had not wanted to l.ght France 
unatded they would have beon compelled to acquiesce in 
Greece s expansion to the north of Durazzo. Ihe greater 
part of Albania is Hellenic. The towns in ,he tuT 
-.rely so; and during the Confer,-,,.,, of A,nbassadors 
delegat,ons from principal towns arrived .„ London to obtain 
annexatton to Greece. Even in present-day Greece there ar 
AIba,,,an elements and the so-called Greek national dress is 
of .Albanian ong.n. The inclusion of the Albanians, who are 
principally Orthodox and Moslem, in the body of the Greek 
state was therefore the best and most natural solution, if 
you left Scutari and the north to the Serbs and Montene- 
grins. For dynastic reasons H.M. was also in favour of this 
solution When I supported thi. view in a letter to the 
monarch 1 received agitated reproaches from the Chancellor- 
he said that 1 ha.l the reputation of being -an opponent oi 
Austria, and 1 was ,0 abstain from such interference and 
direct corres|)ondence. 



We oiiglu M lusi i„ h.-uL- hrokt-n with the- latal tradition o( 
pursuing a Triple Alliaiu-e policy ii. the N.-ar East also, and 
have rrrognised our mistak... which lay in identifying ourselves 
in the south with the Turks and in the north with the Austro- 
Magyars. For the continuance of this policy, upon which 
we had entered al the Berlin Congress, and 'which we had 
actively pnrsned ever since, was bound to lead in time to a 
conflict wit! Russia and to the world-wir, more especially if 
the requisite cleverness were lacking in high places. Instead 
of commg to terms with Russia on a bas.s of the independence 
of the Sultan, whom even Petrograd did not wish to 
eject from Constantinople, and of confining ourselves to 
our economic interests in the Near East and to the par- 
titioning of Asia Minor into spheres of influence while 
renouncing any intention ol milit.iry or political inter- 
ference, it was our political ambition to dominate on the 
Bosphorus. In Russia they began to think that the road 
to Constantinople and the Mediterranean lay r;« lierh 
Instead of supporting the active development of the Balkan 
States-which, once liberated, are anything rather thin 
Russian, and with which our exp. ' nces had been very 
satisfactory-we took sides will, tl. Turkish and Magyar 

The fatal mistake of our I'riple Alliance and Near East 
policy— which had forced Russia, our natural best friend and 
neighbour, into the arms of France and England and away 
from its policy of Asiatic expansion-was the more apparent 
as a Franco-Russian attack, which was the s<,/e hypothesis 
that justified a Triple Alliance policy, could be left out of 
our calculations. 

The value of the It.Hiian alliance needs no further reference. 
Italy will want our monev nnd our tourists even after the war. 

with or without a„ allianc. That thi. latter would fail us i„ 

vaiue^ Austna needs our protection in war, as in peace and 
--no other support. Her dependence on us is ba_sed o' 
po, ,ca „at,o„al, and economic considerations, and s t 

Bo.n,a„ crtsts taught us tl is, .Si,..e the davs of Count Beus 
no Vienna M.ntster has adopted such a self-^nfident attUude 
owar s ., Count Aehrenthal durin, the later vears f h 

relations with Russ.a, Austr.a-Hungar. is our vassal and 
dependent on us, even without an alli'ance or re r^J „! 
^ts wrongly conducted, then we are dependent on Aus iV 
Hence there was „„ reason for the alliance. 

I knew Austria too well not, to be aware fl.nt . . 

.1.. Hic, ., P,i„. r.„. s.h..,.,X;;.;'":.r;;;,.;; 

io..,i...„ „„,. ,„ „,, ^,, ,„ ::;:: .,?'ii:; 

well aware that Austna can never again be the leading Power 
They for as intimate a connection with the 'cT- Z „ as poss.ble, not for an anti-German policy 

S,nce the seventies the position has fundamental chan«d 
.n Austr,a, as ,n Bavaria. As, in the latter, a return to Gr/a 
German separatism and old Bavarian policv is no^ to .^ 
feared, so the former a resuscitation o. the policy ^ 
PnnceKaun.tzand Schwarzenberg was not to be exp fed 
By a federation with Austria, hnweve, which resembles a 
big Belg,um, since its population, even without Halida Id 


Dalmana, is only about half (irr,na„i., <,ur i„icr«ts would 
suffer as much as if wf subor,l,nal,<i our poli.y |o the views 
of Vienna or Hudapest-thus .-^|,„using Austria's quarrels 
(" d'epouser Us querelles d'Autriche "). 

Hence we wcr- not obliged to take anv not.ce of the 
desires nf our ali> : they were not only unnccssary but als„ 
dangerous, as they would lead to a conflict with Russia if we 
looked at Oriental questions through Austrian spectacles. 

The development of the alliance, from a union formed on 
a single hypothesis for a single spc.ific purpose, into a 
general and unlimited association, a pooling of interests 
m all spheres, was the best way of producing that which 
diplomacy was designed to prevent-war. Such an '■ alliance 
policy ■ was also calculaled to alienate from us the sympathies 
of the strong, young, rising communities in the Balkans who 
were prepared to turn to us and to open their markets to us 

The difference between the power of a Ruling House and 
a National State, between dynastic and democratic ideas of 
government, had to be derided, and as usual we were on 
the wrong side. 

King Carol told one of our representatives that he had 
entered into the alii , nee with us on the assumption that we 
retained the leadership; but if this passed to Austria ih-.t 
would alter the foundations of the relationship, and under such 
circumstances he would not be able to go on with it. 

Things were similar in Serbia, where, -ontrarv to our 
own economic interests, we were supporting the 'Austrian 
policy of strangulation. 

Every time we have backed the wrong horse, whose 
breakdown could have been foreseen : Kruger Abdul \,m 
Abdul Hamid, Wilb- Im of Wied, ending-the most f„al 
of all mistakes-with the great plunge on the Berchtold 


Shortly after my arrival in London, at tht- end of 1912 Sir 
E. Grey proposed an informal conversation to prevent the 
Balkan War developing into a Kuropran one, after we had 
unfortunately rtfuicd, on tht- outbreak of the war, to agree 
to the French proposal of a declaration of disinterestedness 
1 he British statesman from the very beginning took up the 
position that England had no interest in Albania, and had no 
intention of going to war over this question. He merely 
wished to mediate between the two groups as an " honest 
broker" and smooth over difficulties. He therefore by no me^ns 
took sides with the Entente, and during the eight months or 
so of the negotiations his goodwill and his authoritative 
influence contributed in no small degree to the attainment of 
an agreement. We, instead of adopting an attitude similar 
to the English one, invariably took up the position which was 
prescribed for us by Vienna. Count .Mensdorff was the 
leader of the Triple .liance in Loi.don; I was his "second " 
It was my duty to support his proposals. That clever and 
experienced man Count Sz6gyi>nyi was conducting affairs in 
Berlin. His refrain was " Then the casus foederis will arise," 
and when I once ventured to doubt the truth of this conclusion 
I was severely reprimanded for " Austrophobia." It 
was also said that I had an " hereditary weaknesi "—the 
allusion being to my father. 

On all questions we took sides with .Austria and Italy 

about Albania, a Serbian port on the .Vdriatic, Scutari, and 
also about the delimitation of the frontiers of Albania— while 
Sir E. Grey hardly ever supported the French or Russian 
claims. He mostly supported our group in order not to give a 
pretext like the one a dead Archduke was to furnish later on. 
Thus with his assistance it was possible to coax King Nikita 
ont of Scutari agaia. Otherwise this question would already 


have led to a world-war, as we should certainly not ha»e 
ventured to induce " our ally " to give way. 

Sir E. Grey conducted the negotiations with circumspec- 
tron, calm, and tact. Whrn a question threatened to become 
involved, he sketched a formula for agreement which was 
to the point and was always accepted. Hi.i personality 
inspired equal confidence in all the participants. 

As a matter of fact we had again successfully emerged 
fiom one i)f those trials of strength which characterise our 
policy. Russia had been obliged to give way to us on all 
points, as she was never in a position to procure success for 
the Serbian aims. Albania was established as a vassal state 
of Austria and Serbia was pressed back from the sea. Hence 
this conference resulted in a fresh humiliation for Kussian 
self-esteem. As in 1878 and in 1908, we had opposed 
the Russian plans although no German interests were 
involved. Bismarck was clever enough to mitigate the 
mistake of the Congress by the secret tre.ity and by his 
attitude in the Battenberg question ; but we continued to 
pursue in London the dangerous path, upon which we had once 
more entered in the Bosnian question, nor did we leave it 
in time when it led to the precipice. 

The ill-humour which prevailed in Russia at that time was 
shown during the conference by attacks in the Russian Press 
against my Russian colleague and Russiau diplomacy. The 
dissatisfied circles made capital of his German descent and 
Roman Catholicism, his reputation as a friend of Germany, 
and the accident that he was related both to Count Mensdorff 
and to me. Without possessing a very distinguishedpersonality, 
Count Benckendorf! is endowed with a number of qualifications 
that distinguish a good diplomat— tact, polished manners, 
experience, courtesy, and a natural eye for men and matters. 
He was always at pains to avoid a brusque attitude, and was 
supported in this hy England iad Frame. 


Utrr I onrr r.,u„ked .0 hin, : "I p„.„„e ,h.t Ru,,ia„ 
( ,s v. v anti-Grrman." He replied : " There are .l,o 
very stro„K an<i influential pro.(ierman circle,, but in general 
people are anU-Au>trian." 

It is hi.rdly „«c-ssury to add that our • Austrophilie i 
outrance (friendship for AuMria through thick and thin) wa, 
hardly calculated to loosen ,h. Knt.nte and ,0 .lirect R„„i , 
towards her Asiatic interests ! 

At the same time the Balkan Conference wa. sitting in 
London and I had occasion to con.e into contact with the 
eaders of the Balkan States. M. Veni.elos was certainly 
the nu,st distinguished personality. At that lim. he was 
anything rather than anti-German, and visited me sevenl 
times; he was especially fond of wearing the ribbon of th,- 
Order of the Red Eagle-he e-,n wore it at the French 
Embassy H,s prepossessing c.rm and way.s of a man o( 
the world secured him much sympathy. Next to him 
M. Danefl, at that time Bulgarian Premier and confidant 
of Count Berchtold, played a great part. He gave the 
."ipression of a subtle and energetic man, and it is 
probably only due to the influence of hi. Vienna and 
Budapest friends, of whose homage he often made fun, that 
he was induced to commit the folly of entering upon the 
second Balkan War and of refusing Russian arbitration. 

M Take Jonescu was also frequently in London and then 
visited me regularly. I knew him from the time when I was 
Secretao^ at Bucharest. He was also one of Herr von 
Ktderlen s fnends. In London he was endeavouring to obtain 
concessions to Rumania from M. Daneff by means of negotia- 
tions. ,n which he was as.sisted by the very able Rumanian 
Ambassado, Misu. It is known that Bnlgari.n opposition 
broughl abctthe failureof ihesen^rHi-tion.. Co„„t Berchtold 

MV MISSION ro LONDON 1912-1914. 

fand »e ol course with him) was rtitirely on Bulgaria's side, 
otherwise by putting pr< ssure on M. Dancflf we might have 
secured the desired satisfaction for Rumania and placed her 
under an obligation to us; she was finally estranged from 
the Central Powers hy Austria's attitude during and after 
the second Balkan War. 


The defeat of Bulgaria in the second Balkan War and the 
victory of Serbia, with the Kumanian invasion, naturally 
constituted a humiliation for Austria. The plan to rectify 
this fjy an expedition against Serbia seems to have been 
evolved in Vienna soon after. The Italian revelations prove 
this, and it may be a>suined that Marquis San Giuliano, 
who described the plan — must aptly— as a pericolosissitna 
avtntura, saved us from being invohed in a world-war as 
parly as the summer of 11)13. 

Owing to the intimacy of Russo-Italian relations, the 
Vienna plan was doubtless known in [-"etrograd. In any case, 
M. Sazonow openly declared at Constanza, as .\I. Take 
Jonescu told me, that an .Austrian attack on Serbia would be 
a casus belli fur Russia. 

When one of my staff returnc-d from leave in Vienna in 
the spring of 1914 he said that llerr von Tschirschky had 
declared that there would soon be war. Ks I, however was 
always left in ignorance about important events I considered 
this pessimism to be unfounded. 

As a matter of fact it would appear that, ever since the 
peace of Bucharest, Vienna was bent on securing a revision 
of the treaty by her own effort and was apparently only 
waiting for a favourable pretext. Vienna statesmi n could, 
of course, depend on our support. They were aware of that, 
as they had been repeatedly accused of lack of firmness. 
In fact, Berlin wai pressing for • " rehabilitation of .Austria." 



Whrn I rr.urned to Undon in December, .9,3, fr„,„ a 

-gthy leave, ,he r.iman von Sanders nue,.ion had led .,. a 

Iresh crisis in mir relations with Russia. Sir K. Grey' noi 

>v.thout concern, ,,oin,ed out .0 me the excitement there was 

■n Petrograd over it : •■ I have never seen them so excited " 

I received insiru, tions Irom Berlin to r,.,|ueM ,he Nfinister 
to exert a restrainm« inllnence in rVtrngra.l, and to assist u, 
■n settling the dispute. Sir Edward gladly did this, and his 
intervention contributed in no small,. to smooth the 
matter over. My good rel.ations with Sir KHward and hi, 
great influence in He.rograd were repeavdiv made use of in 
similar manner when we wished to attain anvllung there as 
our representative proved himself quite useless for such a 

Uuring.he,,uefuldaysofJulv, ,9,4, Sir Kdward said to 
me: When you want to obtain anything in fetrograd you 
al«-ays apply to me, but if I appeal to you for your influence 
in Vienna ynu fail me." 

The good and confidential relations which I had succeeded 
m establishing, not only with society and the most influential 
people like Sir E. Grey and Mr. Asquith, but also with the 
great public at public dinners, produced a marked improve- 
ment, n the relations of the two countries. Sir Edward 
honestly tried to confirm this rapprochement, and his inten- 
tions were most apparent on two questions-the Colonial and 
the Bagdad Railway Treaties. 

In .898 Count Hat^feld and Mr. Balfour had signed a secret 
agreement dividing the Portuguese colonies into economic 
spheres of influence between us and England. As the Govern, 
ment of Portugal had neither ,l,e power nor the means toopen 
up her extended possessions or .0 administer them properly 


«he had already thought of srliinR thrm beforr and thus • 
rrheving h,.r financini hnrdrnv An .■.prrrm^nt hnd brcn com' 
to between u, and llnRland whi. h .iHinrd the int.rrst. of 
1.0th parties, and which was of th- gr..,i,.r value becauv 
I ortusal Ls entirely dependent on Knciand, a., i, eeneralh 

On the face of it this agreemrnt wa., to smfepiard thr 
integrity and independence of the Portuguese State an,! 
merely declared the Intention of b,.ing of fmancial' and 
economic assistance in the Portuguese. Literally, therefor. 
It dul not contravene the ancient Anglo-Portu^iese Alliance 
of the fifteeiith century, which was last renewed under 
Charles II. and gave a reciprocal territorial guarantee. 

In spite of this, owing to the en-leavovrs of MarquU 
Sovoral, who wa.. presumably aware of the Anglo-German 
agreement, a new treaty-the so-called Treaty of Windsor- 
was concluded between England and Portugal in ,800 
confirming the old agreements, which had always remained 
in force. 

The object of negotiaUons between us and England, which 
had commenced before my arrival, was to amend and improve 
our agreement of 1898, as it had proved ansarisfactory on 
several points as regards geographical delimiUtioD. Thanks 
to the accommodating attitude of the British Government I 
succeeded in making the new agreement fully accord with 
our wishes and interests. The whole of Angola up to 
the 20th degree of longitude was assigned to n^ so tiat we 
stretched up to the Congo State from the south; we also 
■cquired the valuable islands of San Thom<i and Principe 
vnich are north of the Equator and therefore really in the' 
trench sphere of influence, a fact which caused my French 
colleague to enter strong but unavaiUng protests 

Further, we ob. ned the northern part of Mozambique 
the Licanfjo formed the border. ' 



The Uritiih Government showed thr ^ireatrit torusuleri- 
lion (or our interests and wishes. Sir K. Grey intended to 
demonstrate his f^oodwilt towards us, but he Also wished to 
assist our colonial development as a whole, as Kn^'land hnpeil 
to divert the Orrman development of strength from 'he North 
Sea and Western Europe to the Ocean and to Africa. " We 
don't want to grudge (iermany her colonial development," 4 
member of the Cabinet said to me. 

The [British Government originally intended to include the 
Congo State in the agreement, which would have given ui 
the right of pre-emption and enabled us to penetrate it 
economically. We refused this offer nominalty in view of 
Belgian susceptibilities. Perhaps we wishe<l to be economiial 
of successes ? With regard also to the practical realisation ii( 
its real though unexpressed intention — the later actual 
partition of the Portuguese colonies — the treaty in its new 
form showed marked improvements and advantages as 
compared with the old one. Cases had been specified which 
empowered us to take <teps to guard our interests in the 
districts ass'gned to us. These were couched in such a 
manner that it was really left to us to decide when " vital " 
interests arose, so that, with Portugal entirely dependent on 
England, it was only necessary to cultivate further good 
relations with England in order to carry out our joint 
intentions at a later date with English assent. 

Sir E. Cirey showed the sincerity of the British 
Government's desire to respect our flights by referring to us 
Englishmen who wished to invest capital and asked for the 
support of the British Government in the districts assigned 
to us by the new agreement, even before this was complited 
and signed, and by informing them that their enterprise 
belonged to our sphere of influence. 

The agreement was practically completed at the time of 
the King's visit to Berlin in May, 1913. At that time a 



conh-rcnc; took place in Berlin under the presidency of the 
Imperial (hanrellor: in this conferencr I alio took part, 
and certain further wishes of ours ,sere detintvl. On mv 
return to Lomk-n I suoce<-.lp,l, with the assistance of foun- 
■ illor of Legation von Kuhlmann, who was working at 
the agreement with Mr f'arker. in having n„r last proposals 
incorporated, so that the whole agreement couhl ■• paragraphed 
liy Sir E. Grey ar.d by me in August, 191J, before I went 
on leave. 

But now fresh difficulties arose which prevented its being 
signed, and I did not obtain the authorisation to conclude it 
till a year later— that is, shortly before the outbreak of the war. 
It was, however, never signed. 

Sir E. Grey was only willing to sign 1/ the agreement 
vere published together vith those of 1898 and iSyg. 
Kngland had, as he said, no other secret tre.-itle.s besides these, 
and it was contrary to est.iblished principles to keep binding 
agreements secret. Therefore he could not make any agree- 
ment without publishing it. He was, however, willing to 
accede to our wishes with regard to the time and manner 
of publication, provided that such public.-.tion took place within 
one year from the date of signature. 

At our Foreign Office, where my London successes had 
caused increasing dissatisfaction, and where an influential 
personage, who acted the part of Herr von Holstein, 
wanted the London post for himself, I was informed 
that the publication would endanger our interests in the 
colonies, as the Portuguese would then not give us any more 

The futility of this objection is apparent from the con- 
sideration that the Portuguese, in view of the closeness of 
Anglo-Portuguese relations, were most probably just as well 
aware of the old agreement ,is of our new arr.ii.jr.mrnts, and 
that the influence which Kn..,'hind possesses at Lisbon 



their (iovernment completely impotent in face of an Anfjlo- 
German agreement. 

Anoth.:r pretext had therefore to he found for wrecking 
the treaty. It was suggested that the publication of the 
Treaty of Windsor, which had been concluded .luring the 
time of Prince Hohenlohe— though it was only a renewal 
of the Treaty of Charles II., which had akv.iys remained 
in force— might endanger the po.sition of llerr von Bethmann 
Hollweg, as a proof of British hypocrisy and perfidy ! 

I pointed out that the preamble of our agreement 
expressed the same thing as the Treaty of Windsor and as 
other similar treaties, namely, that we would protect the 
•overeign rights of Portugal and the inviolability of its posses- 
sions. In vain ' In spite of repeated discussions with Sir 
E. Grey, at which he made many fresh suggestions for the 
publication, the Foreign Office persisted in its attitude, and 
finally arranged with Sir E. Goschen that matters should 
be left as they were ! 

The treaty, which offered us extraordinary advantages, 
the result of more than a year's work, was thus dropped 
because it would have been a public success for me. 

When I mentioned the subject to Mr. Harcourt at a 
dinner at the Embassy in the spring of 1914, the Minister for 
the Colonies told me that he was placed in a difficult position, 
and did not know how to act. The present position was 
intolerable— he wished to safeguard our interests, but was in 
doubt whether he should proceed on the terms of the old or 
the new treaty. It was therefore urgently desirable to clear 
up the situation and to settle the matter, which had dragged 
on for such a long time. 

In reply to a dispatch in this sense I received instructions 
couched in terms which showed more emotion than civilily, 
telling me to abstain from any further interference in the 



1 '"Hv ,c^„-l ll,,u I di.l „„l iminc.l,al.-lv travel to Ikrlln 
an.l ,,l,„-e my ,,„,st .t tl,<. .lis,,,,,.! of „,. „„.„arch, and thn. 
' l>a.l .>o. lost faitl, i„ ,'- ,, ,,;,ni,y „f ^^ivinK at an 
understan,l,n« with tl.os. ,„ autl,-.i,v, . sinister mis.ak. 

whU'h was to talvt' its r^\ . , t II 

lak. Its rcM ij4, . I-K ,n. nils later in such a 
Iraynal wav 

Howrv.r litt!,- I even then enjoyed the gnc.dwill ol the 
highest offical of the Empire, as he feared that I was asuirin« 
to Ins post, yet I n.ust in justice to hin, sav that during our 
last inten^.ew before the outbreak ol war, at the end of June 
.914. to which I will refer later, he gave me his assent for ■ 
the signature and publication of the treatv. In spite of 
this It required repeated applications on ,ny part, which were 
supported by llerr Dr. Solf in Berlin, b;ior.. sanction was 
hnally obtained ai the end of July, ,9,4. As the Serbian 
crisis at that time already imperilled the peace of Europe 
the eompletmn 01 the treaty had to be postponed. It also 
is one ol the s.-icrihces of this war. 


M the same time 1 was negotiating i„ London, with the 
able support of Herr von Kuhlmann, about the so-called 
Bagdad Treaty. The real object of this was to divitle up As.a 
Minor into spheres of influence, although this term was 
anxiously avoided in view of the ri-hts of the .Sultan Sir 
K Grey also repeatedly stated that there were in existence 
no agreements with France and Russia about the partition of 
Asia iVlinor. 

In consultation with a Turkish representative, Hakki 
Pasha, all economic questions concerning German under- 
takings were settled in the main according to the wishes of 
the Ueut.sche Bank. The most important concession Sir 
E. Grey made to me personally was the continuation of the 

MY MISSION TO I.ONDU.N l()l 2-1914 

railway as far as Basra. VVc had dropped this point in favour 
of the connection to Alexandrrtta ; up to that time liagdad 
had been the terminal point of the railway. An international 
commission was to regulate navigation on the Shatt-el-Arab. 
We were also to have a share in the harbour works at Basra, 
and received rights for the navigation of the Tigris, which 
hitherto had been a mono|ioly of the firm of Lynch. 

By this treaty the whole of Mesopotamia as far as Basra 
was included within our sphere of influence (without prejudice 
to already existing British navigation rights on the Tigris and 
the rights of the Wilcox irrigation works), as well as the 
whole district of the Bagdad and Anatolian railway. 

The coast of the Persian Gulf and the Smyrna-Aidin 
railway were recognised as the British economic sphere, Syria 
as the French, and Armenia as the Russian. If both treaties 
were executed and published, an agreement with England 
would be reached which would preclude all do.ilits about the 
possibility of an " Anglo-German co-operation." 


The Naval question was and is the most delicate ni all. It 
is not always regarded rightly. 

The creation of a powerful fleet on the other side of the 
North Sea — the development of the greatest military power 
of the Continent into the greate.-it naval power as well — 
was bound to be felt in England as at least " inconvenient. " 
There can be no doubt about this in any reasonable view. 
In order to maintain her advantage and not to become 
dependent, in order to secure the rule over the teas which 
is necessary for her if she is not to starve, ihe wa» 
compelled to undertake armaments and expenditure which 
weighed heavily on the taxpayer. England's international 
position would be threatened, however, if our policy created 
the belief that warlike developments might ensue — a state of 


iiMaii^ wiiicli hid jilmt>st licun rcaclifd during the time ol llic 
Morocco crises and .he iiosnian problem. 

Great Britain had become reconciled to our tlcet withm 
Us then appointed limits, but it was certainly not welcome, 
and was orif of the causes — though not the only cause and 
perhaps not the most important — of her adhesion to France 
and Russia ; but on account of the fleet alone Kngland would 
not have drawn the sword any more than on account of our 
trade, which has been alleged to have produced jealousv and 
finally w r. 

From the very beginning 1 maintained that, notwi'h- 
standing the fleet, it would be possible to arrive at a friendly 
understanding and rapproihement if we did not introduce a 
new Navy Bill and our policy -vere indubitably pacific. I 
also avoided mention of the fleet and the word never passed 
between Sir E. Grey and me. ih\ one occasion .Sir Iv (Jrey 
said at a meeting of the Cabinet, "The present (lernian 
.Vmbassador has never mentioned the fleet to me." 

During my tenure of office Mr. Churchill, then First Lord 
of the Admiralty, propos-'', as is known, the so-called "Naval 
holiday " and suggeste ancial reasons, and probably also 

to meet the pacific wisii, ' .is party, a year's pause in arma- 
ments. Oflicially Sir E. Grey did not support the proposal • 
he never menlioned it to me. but Mr. Churchill repeatedly 
spoke to me about it. 

I am convinced that his suggestion was honest, as 
prevarication is altogether foreign to English nature. It 
would have been a great success for Mr. Churchill if he could 
have come before the country with reductions of expenditure 
and freed it from the nightmare of armaments that weighed 
on the people. 

I replied that for technical reasons it would be difficult 
to agree to his plan. What was to become of the workmen 
who were engaged for this purpose, and what of the technical 


MY MISSION ro l.ONUON lyl2-l()14 

slall? Our Na\iil |ir.)i^i.iiiiinc IkiiI bn ii .uiiiloi on. and i: 
would be difTicult lu .iIIlt it in any way. On tbe oilier hanH 
we had no intention of exceeding it. But he reverted to ii 
again and pointed out that the sums used for enormous 
armaments might bettor be employed for other and useful 
purposes. 1 replied that thi.s expenditure too be lefited 
our home industries. 

Through interviews with Sir W. Tyrrell. Sir E. Greys 
principal private secretary, I manag(-d to have the question 
removed from the agenda without causing any ill-fieling, 
although it was again referred to in I'arliament, and to prevent 
any official proposal being made. It was, however, a pet idea 
of Mr. Churchill's and the Government's, and I think that by 
entering upon his plan and the formula i6;io for battleships 
we might have given tangible proof of our goodwill, and 
strengthened and encouraged the tendency (which already pre- 
vailed in the Government) to enter into closer relations with us. 

But, as I have said, it was possible to arrive at an under- 
standing in spite of the fleet and without a " Naval holiday." 
1 had always regarded my mission from this point of view, 
;ind 1 had also succeeded in realising my plana when the 
outbreak of war destroyed everything I had achieved. 


The " commercial jealousy," about which we hear so much, 
is based on a wrong conception of the circumstances. 
Certainly Germany's rise as a commercial power after the 
war of 1870 and during the following decades was a menace 
to British commercial circles which, with their industries and 
export-hcuses, had held a virtual monopoly of trade. The 
increasing commerce with Germany, which was the leading 
country in Europe as regards British exports — a fact to which 
1 invariably referred in my public speeches — had, hi^wever, 
given rise to the wish to maintain friendly relations with their 


l.est customer and business (riend, and had driven all other 
■ onsidi rations into the background. 

Ihf Briton is matter-of-fact— he lakes things as they are 
and does not tilt against windmills Notably in commercial 
circles I encouiitered the most friendly spirit and ihe 
endeavour to further our common economic interests. As a 
matter of fact nobody in them took any interest in the 
Russian, Italian, .Austrian, or even in the French representa- 
live, in spite of his striking personality and his political 
successes. Only the German and .American .Ambassador, 
attracted public attention. 

In order to get into touch with important commercial 
circles, ! accepted invitations from the United Chambers of 
Commerce, and from the London and Bradford Chamber, and 
was the guest of the cities of Newcastle and Liverpool. I 
was well receive.l everywhere: Manchester, Glasgow, and 
l-.dmburgh had also invited me. and I intended to go there later 
People who did not understand British conditions and 
did not realise the importance of 'public dinners," also 
people to whom my successes were unwelcome, reproached 
me with having done harm with my speeches. 1 believe 
on the contrary that by appearing in public and emphasising 
common commercial interests I contributed in no small measure 
to the improvement of relations, quite apart from the fact 
that it would have been clumsy and churlish to refuse all 

In all other circl.-, 1 also met with the most friendly 
reception and hearty . o-operation— at Court, in society, and 
from the Govt^rnment, 

The King, although not a genius, is a simple and well- 
meaning man with sound common sense ; he demonstrated 
bis goudtvii; towards me and was frankly desirous of furthering 


MlbhluN lu l.u.NDo.N 191^-1914. 

my task. Although the British Constitution leaves only very 
limitt-tl powers to the Crown, yet the monarch, in virtue of his 
position, can exercise a consideral)le influence on opinion both 
in society and in the Government. The Crown is the apex of 
the social pyramid ; it sets the fashion. Society, which is 
principally Unionist (Conservative), has always taken an active 
interest in politics, a habit which the ladies share. It is 
represented in the House of Lords, the House of Commons, 
and hence a-'-io in the Cabinet. An Englishman either is a 
member of society, or he would like to be one. It is his 
constant endeavour u, be a " Gentleman," and even people 
of undistinguished origin, like Mr. Asquith, delight to mingle 
in society and the company of beautiful and fashionable 

The British gentlemen of both parties have the same 
education, go to the same colleges and universities, have the 
same recreiitioi.G— golf, cricket, lawn-tennis, or polo. All 
have played cricket and football in their youth ; they have the 
same habits of life, and spend the week-end in the country. 
There is no social cleavage between th j parties, but only a 
politjca] one ; in recent years it has so far developed into a 
social cleavage that tht- politicians of the two camps avoid social 
intercourse with one another. Even on the neutral territory 
of an Embassy one did not venture to mingle the two parties, 
as since the Veto and Home Rule Bills the Unionists have 
ostracised the Radicals. When the King and Queen dined 
with us a few months after my arrival, Lord Londonderry left 
the house after dinner, as he did not wish to remain together 
with Sir E. Grey. But it is not a difference of caste or 
education as in France; they are not two separate worlds, 
but the same world, and the opinion about a foreigner is a 
common one, and not without influence on his political 
position, whether Mr. Asquith be governing or Lord 




Micre has been no dilTcr.nce ot cast.- in kn 1 , • 
the nsc of an urban middle-cUss I, is,.,, ,, » 

ofpoiiuca, opinions ab,,. ,...;,,,,: :/:ti:.t!::r 

and taxation. Especially aristocrats like Gr ■ rh 
Harconrt, Crewe, who joined the people s ^^^ ^iT' 
were n^ost hated by the Unioni t aristocrac v- „„ '^■"^'"'^- 
-y of these ge„Uen,en at any of X '"ea M:" """ 
House, except at those of a few p'arty friend! "''"""'^ 

We were ree.-ived in London with open ar.ns 1 u , 
parties rivalled one another in courtesy oTar< ',' '"'' 

of the close relationship b,.,„..en politic:t< soc tJ'T 
Kngland .t would be wron,. ,„ undervalue social Ln 

even when the majority of the „p„,.r ten ,h ' 

opposition to the GoveLmen, " ''"""""' "^ '" 

There is not the «m,. unbridgable eulf h..,„ 
Mr. Asquith and the Duke of Devonshire thit ,1, • . "'■" 

je^on, to two seirat:^:!;" -^hr:::^:::;; 

of life ; mostly they have Lo: e^Tt^.r Tom tr' ''^'"^ 
up and also are frequentiv related to on T "-^'^ ^""'H 

biood or marriage. ' °"' -""""''^^ "'^er by 

Phenomena like Mr. Lloyd George — th 

people, petty attorney, and seLmademan-1,:" °' ""' 
Even Mr. Burns, the Socialist llho , . """P"""- 
educated man, sought c^r-J^Z^;'']:1! ''"] 
the prevailing attempt to rank as / \ "' 

unatUined prototype'is stiU he g^eaT" rT' ^""' 
value of the verdict of society and its atlr'""'' ""^ 
underestimated. attitude must not be 



Ilenct- the social adaptability "f a representative nowhere 
plays a greater rille than in liigland. A hospitable house 
« ith pleasant hosts is worth more than the most profound 
^tientihc knowledge; a savant with provincial manners and 
small means would gain no influence, in spite of all hi-^ 

The Briton loathes a bore, a schemer, and a prig; he likes 
;i good fellow. 


Sir Edward Grey's influence in all matters of foreign policy 
was almost unlimited. On important occasions he used indeed 
to say, "I must first bring it before the Cabinet"; but this 
always agreed to his views. His auihority was undisputed. 
Although he does not know foreign countries at all, and had 
never left England except for a short visit to Paris, he was 
fully conversant with all the important questions owing to his 
long parliamentary experience and his natural insight. He 
understands French, but does not speak it. He was returned 
to Parliament as a young man, and soon began to interest 
himself in foreign affairs. Under Lord Rosebery he was 
Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and became 
Secretary of State in 1906, under Mr. Campbell-Bannerman ; 
be has now held the post for some ten years. 

I'he scion of an old north country family, which had 
already furnished Grey, the well-known statesman, he joined 
the left wing of his party and sympathised with Socialists and 
pacifists. You may call him a Socialist in the ideal sense, as 
he carries the theory into his private life and lives very simply 
and unpretentiously, although he has extensive means. Osten- 
tation is foreign to him. In London he only had a small house, 
and never gave dinners, except the one official dinner at the 
Foreign Office on the King's Birthday. On the few occaiiona 


when hr entertained guests it was at a simple dinner or 
lunch with maidservants to wait. Also he avoided larj-. 
functions and banquets. 

Like his colleagues, hr regularly spends his week-end.. 
1" the country, but not with large or fashinn.,I.le parlie. 
He is mostly by himsei, in his cottage in tl..- New Korrsi 
where he takes long «alks to study ^„„| ih^ir ways, a- 
he is a passionate lover of nature and an 
Or sometimes he goes to his estate in the i,„rth, where he 
feeds the .squirrels that ,„me in at ih.' windows, and breeds 
different species of waierfi.w I. 

He was very fond of i;oing to the Norfolk r.iarshes to 
watch in their breeding season the rare kinds of herons, 
which nest only there 

In his youth he «.,s a well-known cricket ;,„d racquet 
l.l.uer; now h.s favourite pastime is ..>|,„„„ ..ndtroul- 
iishlng in Scottish rivers in company with his friend Lord 
•ilenconncr, .Mr. As.piith's brother-in-law. "All the rest 
of the year I am looking forward to it." lie has publishcl 
a book on fishing. 

On one occasion, wher we spent a week-end with hiin 
alone at Lord Glenconner's, near Salisbury, he arrived on a 
bicycle and returned to his cntt.age about thirty miles dislani 
in the same way 

The simplicity anil honesty of his ways secured him the 
esteem even of his opjionents, who were 10 be found rather 
in the sphere ,if home affairs than of foreign policy. Lies 
and intrigue are equally repugnant to him 

His wife to whom he was devotedly attached and from 
whom he was inseparable, died in consequence of being 
thrown from a trap she was driving. As is generallv known, 
one of his brothers was killed by a lion. 

Wordsworth is his favourite poet, and he could quote 
much of his poetry. 



The calm quiet of his British nature is not lacking in a 
snist' <)( humour. Once when he was lunching with us and 
the children, and heard them talking Germa", his said, "I 
can't help thinking how clever these children are to talk 
(icrman sti well," and was pleased with his juke. 

This is a true picture of the man who is decried as 
" l,iar-(jrcy " and instigator of the world-war. 


Mr. Asquilh is a man ol an entirely ililTrrent stamp. A 
jovial bon-vivanf. fond of the ladies, especially the young and 
pretty ones, heisp.irtial to cheerful society and good cooking, 
and hii zest for enjoy me lit is s! i-edby hiswife. For, lerly a well- 
known barrister with a lar^e j . .me, and for a number of years 
in Parliament, then a Minister under Mr Gladstone, a 
like his friend Grey, and favouring an understanding with 
Germany, he treated all qui'stions with the cheery calm and 
assurance ol an experience d man of business, whose good 
health and excellent nerves were steeled by devotion to the 
game of goll. 

His daughters were at scliuul in (jermany and spoke 
German Huently, In a short time we got on friendly terms 
with him and his family, and were his guests in his small 
country house on the Thaiues. 

Only on rare occa-ions did he concern himself with 
foreign politics, when important questions arose; then ol 
course his decision was lin il. During the critical days of July 
Mrs. Asquilh repeatedh . anie to us to w.irn us, and in the 
end she was quite di.sLraiight :it the tragic turn of events. 
Mr. Asquith also, when 1 called on him on the 2nd August to 
make a last effort in the direction of expectant neutrality, 
was quite broken, though absolutely calm, Tear» were 
coursing down his cheeks. 



'IN i.)i;.|r)if 


Sir A \i, Olson and Sir W. Tyrrell were the two most 
infTuential men at the For.ij;,, office after the Minisi.r. 
The former w\t^ no fri-ticl nf ours, l,iit his altitude towanis 
me was ahsolulely corrr, 1 and i ourl.ous. Our personal 
relations were excellent. Me too did not want war; hut 
when we advanced against I'rance, h. no doubt worked in 
the direction oi :in immedi.ile intervention. 1I(. was the ron- 
fidant of my I'renc h ( ollengue, -vith whom he was in constant 
touch ; also he wished to relieve Lord Bertie in Paris. 

Sir Arthur, who h.iil heen Ambassador at I'eirojjrad, hnd 
concluded tlie treaty of 1907. which had enabled Russia aKain 
to turn her attention to the West and to the Near East. 


.Sir \V. Tyrrell, Sir ICdwnrd's private secretary, possessed 
far greater influence than the Permanent Under Secretary. 
This highly intelligent man had been at school in Germany, 
and had then turned to diplomacy, but had only been abroad 
for a short time. At first he favoured the anti-German policv, 
which was then in fashion amongst the younger B^iti^h 
diplomatists, hut later lie became a convinced advocate of 
an understandini;. He influenced Sir E. (}rey, with whom 
he was very intimate, in this direction. Since the outbreak 
of war he has left the Oflice and found a place in the Home 
Office, probably because of the criticisms passed on him for 
his Germanophil tendencv 


Nothin).; can describe the rage of certain gentlemen at 

my London successes and the position wliii h 1 had managed 

to make fo» myself in a short time. They devised vexatious 



initructions to render my Ddiir murr diHuuii I nas left in 
complete ignorance of tin* tiiost inij)orl;int rnalters, and was 
rettrictcdto thecommuniiation mI dull aniliiiiimportantrfpnrls 
Secret agents' npurls, on riiaLttjr> about which I kiujiI nut 
learn without i'>|>liinii^'>' anil the nei ossary funds, were mver 
available to ine; and il «as iiol till the last days of Julv, 1(114. 
that I learnt, quite by chance, from the Nav,-il Attache of tin- 
»e( ret Anglo-l'r<rich agreement concerning the co-ugicratiuii 
of the two 111! |> in case of war. The knowle<lf;e of other 
imijortaiit events which had been known to the ( dlice for a 
long time, like ihc . (irrespondence between Grey and ramhon, 
was kept trnni nie, 


Soon after my arrival 1 obtained the conviction that under 
MO circum-tanc es liad we to fear a British attack or British 
support tor any foreign attack, but that uvtUr any cir- 
citm^tiintfs Eii'^lnnil 'jiould protect the French. 1 expressed 
this view in repeated dispatches, with minute proof and great 
(•mphass, but did not obtain any credence, although Lord 
Haldane's refusal to assent to the neutrality formula and 
Kngland's attitude during the Morocco crisis had been pretty 
obviou; indications. In addition there were the secret agree- 
ments A-hirh I have relerrfd to, and which were known to 
the Ortiie. 

I always pointed out that in the event of a war between 
European Powers, Kngland as a commercial slate vould 
suffer enoiniously, .and would therefore do her best to prevent 
a conflict ; but, on the other hand, she would never tolerate a 
weakening or annihilation of France: because of the necessity 
•of maintaining the European balance of power and of 
preventing a German superiority of force. Lord llaldane 
ihad told me this shortly after my arrival, and all the leading 
ipeople had exp.ret<ied themselves in the same sense. 

M.V MISSION TO lONnON 1914-19,4, 

■'III: si:uiuA\ ( Kisis 

fcmperor. A ,.w werk, prior to thi, I h.vl !.,.,.„ ,„,,,, ,,„ 
honorary ,., ,. „, o„„r,l, a„ honour « hi,!, had no L 
-n crrH ,., .nv A„„...,s.a,,,.r .in, ,■ „,.r v„„ , „L . 
"'•-•■fr-'— i"'.h..H..,-.„,„, Anl„,„J' 


alr.ady br,n drcided on at Konopi,. |„ 

A^ I «as not instructed al.out and rv.nts in \„.„na 
Ki no. attach v„y ,. a, i.,,,,an.. .0 this o..^ ■ 

;";:" ','°"''' ""'>•. --"^ ""^' "''■""«^' 

--'I •!•;• /^/- th.T,. „as al.o an Austrian ^urs. „, ,„" 
Knipcrors, Count Kch\ Thun H, h=,i ■ ,■ 

ill !h,. fi™ « • "' had remained in his cahin 

■'I Ih- suffertng fro.n .,.a-sicl<„.ss. i„ spit, of ,he 
N -..1.H w,.a.h.r: hut „n r.-, ,.ivin« ,h,. ,„.„. hi „.. „ „ 
The (right or joy had , „nd him 

On mv arnval in IVrlin I sa« tl„. C„a ih. and toh, hin, 

hat^.cc.-.d,....l, he state of our foreign relations v,.rv.atiJ 
^ or,, a. we were on Letter terms with Kn^iand than we 
I'-i l.-'n for a long time, whilst i„ France also ,|,e government 
was ,n the hands of a pacifist .Ministry. 

Herr von Bethmaun Hollweg did not -i„i,e-,r .„ 1 
optitni.., and complained ab^,, Z ' ^Z:^^ 1 
sough to reassure him, emphasising the fact that ^^ Uha 
no interest in attacking us, and that .such an a„ack would 
eve receive Anglo-Prencl, support, as ,.,„h countrielr'; 
acU Mor , '"", *^"' '" "^- ^'■"'"— "• who was 

nl'oul 10 lais,. 900,000 ,-,d,iitional tro„ns HI I 

b..ayed unmistakable annoyance with 'K^ss-'l^ir^ 



" everywhere in our way." 'I'lu-rt- wf rt- alsu difih i)lties in 
economic polii\'. Of coursr. I was not tuid that fieiieral von 
Moltke was ])r(--siiin for war; hut I h;irned that Htrr von 
Tsrhirst hkv liad bn-n rrpriniatuifd hccatise he reported 
that he had counsrilcd inoth-ralion tdwanls Serbia in 

On my return from Silesia to London 1 slojip'-d only a 
few hours in Hrrhn, where I heard that Austria intended 
to take steps ajjainst Serl)ia in order to put an end to 
an impot^sible situation. 

I regret that ar the moment I underestimated the import- 
ance of the news. 1 thought that nothing v.'ouid come of it 
this time eillier. and th-it matters could easily be settled, 
even if Russia became threatening. I now regret that I did 
not stay in Berlin and at once declare that I would not 
co-operate in a policy of this kind. 

Subsetpiently I ascertained that, at the decisive conference 
at I'otsdam on tlie 5th July, the Vienna enquiry received the 
unqualified assent of all the leading people, and with the rider 
that no harm would be done if a war with Russia should result. 
Thus it was expressed, at any rate, in the Austrian protocol 
which Count Mensdorff received in London. Soon afterwards 
Herr von Jagow was in Vienna to consult Count Berchtold 
about all these matters. 

.'\t that time I received instructions to induce the British 
Press to adopt a friendly attitude should Austria administer 
the coup de ^n/Vc to the " Great Serbia " movement, and to 
exert my personal influence to prevent public opinion from 
becoming inimical to Austria. If one remembered England's 
attitude during the annexation crisis, when public opinion 
showed sympathy for the Serbian rights in Bosnia, as well as 
iier lienevolent furtherann- of national movements in the days 
of Lord Byron and (iaril)aldi, the probability that she would 
support the intended punitive expedition against the murderers 


of the prince happen,,! so remote, tlmt I lo.„ui nns.ll „l,|i,,e<| 
to g,ve an urgent warning. But I also warned n,,-,n against 
the whole plan, which I characterised as adventurous and 
dang'-rous, and advised them to counsel the Auslrians to 
moderation, as I did not believe that the conllici could l,c 

Herr von Jagow replied to me that Kussia was not readv ■ 
there would probably be some fuss, but the more lirmlv we 
took sides with .Austria the more would Kussia give wav ' As 
it was, Austria was accusing us of weakness "an.l therefore 
we dare not leave her in the lurch Public opinio,, in Russia 
on the other hand, was becoming n,„rc an.l more anti-German' 
so we must just risk it. ' 

In view of this attitude, which, as I found later was b ised 
on reports from Count Pourtales that Russia would not move 
under any circumstances, and which caused us to spur Count 
Berchtold on to the utmost -nergy, 1 hoped for salvation 
through Hritish mediation, as I knew that .Sir R. Grev's 
great influence in Petrograd could be used in the direction 'of 
peace. I therefore availed myself of mv friendiv relations 
with the Minister lo request him in .onlidence' to advise 
moderation in Russia in case Austria, as seemed likely 
demanded satisfaction from .Serbia. 

At first the English Press preserved calm and was friendiv 
to Austria, because the murder was generallv condemned 
But gradually more and more voices were heard insisting 
emphatically that, however much the crime merited punishment 
Its exploitation for political purposes could not be justified' 
Austria was strongly exhorted to use moderation. 

When the ultimatum was published, all (he papers with 
the exception of the Stam^ard-^\^,. ever-i.eccssitous which 
had apparently been bought by Austria-were unanimous in 
condemnation. The whole world, excepting Herlin and 
Vienna, realised that it meant war-indeed, -the world-war." 



The British Fleet, which happened to have asseml)lf(l for 
a naval review, was not dfinobilisod. 

My efforts were in the first plane directed towards 
obtaining as conciliatory a reply from Serbia as was possible, 
since the attitude of the Russian Government left room for 
no doubts about the gravity of the situation. 

Serbia responded favourably to the Britin^; efforts, as M. 
Pasitch had really agreed to everythir;^ > icepting two 
points, about which, however, he declared his \\illin(rness 
to negotiate. If Russia and England had wanted the war, 
in order to attack as, a hint to Belgrade would have been 
enough, and the unprecedented Note would not have been 

Sir E. Grey went through thr Serbian reply with me, and 
pointed out the conciliatory attitude of the Government of 
Belgrade. Thereupon we discussed his proposal of mediation, 
which was to include a formula acceptable to both parties 
for clearing up the two points. His proposal was that a 
committee, consisting of M. Cambon, the Marquis Imperiali, 
and myself, should assemble under his presidency, and it 
would have been an easy matter for us to find an acceptable 
formula for the points at issue, which mainly concerned 
the collaboration of Austrian Imperial officials at the 
investigations in Belgrade. Given goodwill, everything 
could have been settled at one or two sittings, and the 
mere acceptance of the British proposal would have brought 
about a relaxation of the tension, and would have further 
improved our relations with England. I therefore strongly 
backed the proposal, on the ground that otherwise tliere was 
danger of the world-war, through which we stood to gain 
nothing and lose all; but in vain. It was derogatory to the 
(lii^nity of Austria — we did not intend to interfere in Serbian 
matters — we left these to our ally. 1 was to work for "the 

localisation of the cun 




.\Li-.lli,is lo say .1 mere hint from Merlin «c.ul.l have 
decided Count Berchtoid to content himself with ^ diplomatic 
success, and to accept the Serbian reply. This hint was not 
given ; on the contrary they urged in the direction of war. 
It would have been such a splendid success. 

After our refusal Sir Edward requested us to submit 
a proposal. We insisted on war. I cnuld not obtain 
any reply but that Austria had shown an exccdin^ly 
" accommodatinj; spirit" by not demanding an extension 
of territory. 

Sir Edward rightly pointed out that even without an 
extension of territory it is possible to reduce a state t a con- 
dition of vassalage, and that Russia would see a humiliation 
in this, and would not suffer it. 

The impression grew stronger and stronger that we 
wanted war under any circttmstances. It was imi>ossible to 
interpret our attitude, on a (|uestion which did not directly 
concern us, in any other way. The urgent requests and 
deliiiite assurances of M. Sazonow, followed by the Czar's 
positively humble telegrams, the repeated proposals of Sir 
E. Grey, the warnings of the Marquis San Giuliano and 
Signer Bollati, my urgent counsels, all were of no avail. 
Berlin persisled ; Serbia must be massacred. 

The more I pressed the less were they indmed to come 
round, if only that 1 might not have the success of averting 
war In conjunclion with Sir Edward Grey. 

Finally, on th,> 29th, the latter decided on the famous 
warning. I replied that 1 had invariably reported that we 
should have to reckon with English opposition if it came 
to a war mth Krance. Repeatedly the Minister said to me : 
" If war breaks out, it will be the greatest catastrophe the 
world has ever seen." 

After that, events followed each other rapidly. When 
at last Count Berchtoid, who up tUl then had, at the behest 


of Berlin, played the slroiiK n'^". rfecided to come ruuiid, 
we replied to the Russian mobilisation, alter Russia had 
negotiatid and waited (or a whole week In vain, with the 
ultimatum and the declaration of war. 


Sirtl'.dward w,is still lookinii; lor new ways of avnicliji.' the 
catastrophe. Sir W. Tj-rrell called on me- on ilu- morning 
ol the 1st An:.;u..t to tell me that his chief still hoped to 
find a way out. Would we remain neutral if I'rance 
did ? I understood that we should then agree to span- 
France, but h. had meant that we should remain altogether 
neutral— tow..-''s Russia also. That was the well-known 
" misundrrstar.ding." Sir Edward had asked me to call in the 
afternoon. As he was at a meeting of the Cabinet, he called 
me up on the telephone. Sir \V. Tyrrell having hurried 
to him at once. In the afternoon, however, he talked only 
about Uelgian neutrality and the possibility that we and 
FVance might face one another in arms without attacking. 

Thus this was not a proposal at all, but a question without 
any guarantee, as our interview, which I have mentioned 
before, was to take place soon afterwards. Berlin, however 
without waiting for the interview, made this report the 
foundation for far-reaching measures. Then there came 
M. Poincare's letter, Bonar flaw's letter. King .Albert's 
telegram. The waverers in the Cabinet — excepting three 
members who resigned — were converted. 

Till the very last moment I had hoped that England 
woul'l adopt a waiting attitude. Nor did my French colleague 
feel at all confident, as I heard from a private source. I^ven 
on the 1st August the King had given the President an 
evasive reply. But England was already mentioned as an 

epiy. But Engl 
opponent in the telegr. 


in announcing the 


MV MISSION TO lOsnuN 19,2-,9,4. 
immiiirnt ilanirer of iiir n r- 
rtcUning n,, war «ith England. ^ 

Before inv departure '^ir F Hr,.- , 
at his house Mud call I ah ' ""■■ "" ""■ ■^"'' 

-ved. Hetold J;;i;l :7"'^^' "--deeply 
., vir I . '"'"■'>'''''■ P"piiri< to mediate 

wrote to n,e that the whole family were so r • 

Sovereign, Such! the e dof T , ^ ''^"""'"^ 

It ,. I , ' "y I-ondon mission 

U was wrecked not by the wiies of the British, but by c 

wiles of our policy. • . ui oy me 

Count Mensdorfl ,ukI his staff had come to the station in 
London. He wa.s cheerful, and gave me to understa, „ 
perhaps he woul.l remain there, but he tohl the i ' , 
that we, an.l not Austria, had wanted the war "" 


Looking back after two years, 1 con,e to the .onclusion 
that I realised too late that there was no room for me in a 
.^ystem that or years had lived on routine and traditions alone 
and that only tolerated representatives who reported wha^ 
their superiors wished to read. Alienee of prejudice and an 
uidependentjudgment are resented. Lack of ability and wan" 


MV MISSION To LONDON 1912-1914. 

of cliura. ter arc praised ari<l eslceim-il, while suci csm-s meft 
witli disfavour and excite alarm. 

I had f;iien up my opposition lo tlic insane Triple .Mliance 
policy, as 1 realised that it was useless, and that my warn- 
ings were attributed to " Austrophobia," to my idee fixe. In 
politics, which are jicither acrobatics nor a game, but the 
main business of the firm, there is no " phil " or " phobe," 
but only the interest of the community. A policy, how- 
ever, that is based only on .\ustrians, Magyars, and lurks 
must come into conflict with Russia, and hnally hail to a 

In spite of former mistakes, all might still have been put 
right in July, 1914. An agreement with England had been 
arrived at. We ought to have sent a representative to 
Petrograd who was at least of average political capacity, 
and to have convinced Russia that we wisheil neither 
to control the straits nor to strangle Serliia. " l.dehez 
I' Autriche et nous Idch'erons Us Fraufiiis " (" Drop /\ustria 
and we will drop the French"), M. Sazonow said to 
us. And M. tambon told Herr von Jagow, " Vous n'avez pas 
besoin de sutvre i' Autriche piirtuut " (" You need not follow 
Austria everywhere"). 

We wanted neither wars nor alliances ; we wanted only 
treaties that would safeguard us and others, and secure our 
economic development, which was without its like in history. 
If Russia had been freed in the West, she could again turn to 
the East, and the Anglo-Russian rivalry would have been re- 
established automatically and without our intervention, and 
not less certainly also the Russo-Japanese. 

We could also have considered the question of the reduction 
of armaments, and need no longer have troubled ourselves about 
Austriah complications. Then Austria would have become 

the vassal of the German Empire, without any alliance and 

especially without our seeking her good graces, a proceeding 

ultima...|y leading to war for the liberation of Poland and ,he 
destruction of S, r,i.,, although German int.-rest demanded the 
(■xact contrary. 

1 had to support in London a policy the heresy of uhi.h 
I recognised. That brought down vengeance on me, because 
It was a sin against the Holy 

As s,„,n as I arrived in Berlin I s.w that I was to be 
made the scapegoat for the catastrophe for which our 
Government had made itself responsible against mv advice 
and warnings. 

that'^f'hlTrn "^^''^'"^"^'^'-^- ^--■'ted ■" official quarters 
that I had allowed myself to be deceive,! by Sir E Grev 
because if he had not wanted war, Russia would not hav^ 
mobilised Count Pourtales, whose reports could be relied 
on. was to be protected, not least on account of his relation- 
ship. He had conducted himself •• magni.icentlv," he was 
praised enthusiastically, and I was blamed the m or; severely 

said IL • """'r '""''" '^ ''""''^- " "■'' "«'— 
said to me -er eight years in office at Petrograd. The 

whole thing was a British trick that I had not noticed. At 

the Foreign Office they told me that war would in any cat 

have come in ,9,6. Then Russia would have been readv ^ 

therefore it was better now. 

As is evident from all official publ,cations-and this is not 
refuted by our White Book, which, owing to the poTerty o 

.. We encouraged Count Berchtold to attack 
berbia, although German interests were not involved 
and the danger of a world-war must have been known 

MV MtSSION lO LONDON 1913-1914. 

to us. Whether we were :iware of the wordinj; of 
the Uttimatiim is completely immaterial. 

2, During the time between the 23rd and joth 
July, 11)14, when M. Sazonow emphatically declared 
that he would not tolerate any attack on Serbia, we 
rejected the firitish proposals of mediation, although 
Serbia, under Russian and British pressure, had 
accepted .ilmost the whole of the Ultimatum, and 
although an agreer "nt about the two points at 
issue could easily have been reached, and Count 
Berchtold was even prepared to content himself 
with the Serbian reply. 

3. On the 30th July, when Count Berchtold wanted 
to come to terms, we sent an ultimatum to Petrograd 
merely because of the; Russian mobilisation, although 
Austria not been attacked; and on the 31st July 
we declared war on Russia, although the Czar pletlged 
his word that he would not order a man to march as 
long as negotiations were proceeding — thus deliberately 
destroying the possibility of a peaceful settlement. 

In view of the above undeniable facts it is no wonder that 
the whole of the civilised world outside Germany places the 
entire responsibility for the world-war upon our shoulders. 

Is it not intelligible that our enemies should declare that 
they will not rest before a system is destroyed which is a 
constant menace to our neighbours ? Must they not other- 
wise fear that in a few years' time they will again have to 
take up arms and again see their provinces overrun and their 
towns and villages destroyed? Have not they proved to be 
right wlio declared that the spirit of Treitschke and Bernhardi 
governed the German people, that spirit which gloiified war 
as such, and did not loathe it as an evil, that with us the 

MY MISSION TO I.ONnON 1912-1914 

feudal knight and Junk.-r, the warrior caste, .siill rule and 
form ideals and valu.s. not the civilian f;entlen,an ; lliat the 
love of th, duel Hhidi .wiimales our academic y.iutli ,til| p,.r- 
sists in those who control the destini.s of th.-'|.,o|,l,. >: fJid 
not the Zabcrn incident an,l ll„- parllamenlarv discussions 

about it clearly demon,trate to foreign countries'thr value w,- 

place on the rights and liberties of the citizen if these collide 

with questions of military power •' 

That intelligent historian Cranib, »ho has since died an 

admirer of Germany, clothed the (ierman concepiioi, in 'the 

words of Fuiphorion : 

DrcMii, \c oJ' pr.ii p- < 
Dream hp that will — 
Wdr ii tlif rallying cry 

Militarism, which l,y rights is an education for the people 
and an instrument of policy, turns policy into the instrument 
of military power when the patriarchal absolutism of the 
soldier-kingdon. makes possible an which a demo- 
cracy, remote from military Junker influence, would never 
have permitted 

So think our enemies, and so they must think when they 
see that, in spite of capitalistic industrialisation and in 
spite of socialist organisation, "the living are still ruled by 
the dead," as Friedrich Nietzsche says. The principal 
war aim of our enemies, th,- democratisation of (iermany, 
will be realisetl ! 


Bismarck, like .Napoleon, loved conflict for itself. .\s ;, 
statesman he avoided fresh wars, the follv of whi, 1, 
he recogni.sed. He was content uitl, bloodless battles. 
After he had, in rapid succession, vanquished Christian. 

• Tl.. oriji^l h« •■ w„,- pr„unBbly owinj u, . mUpri.t.-TK*Ns, ,toh. 



Francis Jixpph. and Napoleon, it was thr turn of Arnim, Pius, 
and .Augusta. That did not sufficp him (mri^c hakow, who 
thought hirn«clf the grr.-iter, had rt-pMlfdly annoyed him. 
The ronHirt was rifd almost to the point of war— pven by 
depriving him of his railway saloon. This g.ivi- risf to the 
miserable Triple Alli.inre. At last lanie the rnnflii witli 
William, in whirli the mighty one was vanquished, as 
Napoleon was vani|uished hy Alexander. 

Political lifeand-deatli unions only prosper if loun<led on 
a constitutional basis and not on an internatiinil one. They 
are all the more questionable i( the partner is feeble. Bismarck 
never meant the Alliance to take this form. 

He always treated the Knglish with forbearance ; he knew 
that this was wiser. He always paid marked respect to 
the old Oueen Victoria, despfte his hatred of her daughter 
and of political .Xnglomania; the learned Beaconsfield and the 
wordly-wisp Salisbury he courted ; and even that .-.trange 
(iladstone, whom he did rot like, really had nothing to 
complain about 

The Ultimatum to Scr'i'a was the culuiinating point of 
the policy of the Berlin Congress, the Bosnian crisis, the 
Conference of London : but there was yet time to turn back. 

We were completely successful in achieving that which 
above all other things should have been avoided — the breach 
with Russia and England. 


Ahfr two years' lighting it is obvious that w^ dire not 
hope lor an unconditional vict y over the Russians, Knglish, 
French, Italians, Rumanians, and Americans, or reckon on 
being able to wear our enemies down. But we can obtain 
a peace by compromise only by evacuating the occupied 
territory, the retention of which would in any event be a 
burden and cause of weakness to us, and would involve the 

MY MISSION TO lOMloN i9f2-l<,i4. 

~. oM„r,i„.r w..„. 1 1,.„,,„. .•.,.,,, 1„„« 

avoided whi.h would n,.,k,. i, mnr- dilli, „!, f„r lh„s,. ,.„,.,„. 
groups who miKl.t ,M>ssiMy ,iil| I,.. „,,., „v, r l.> thr idr-, o( 
a p.ace by compro.nis.- to com,. ,o frms, vi.., ,1,.. HH.ish 
Radicals and the K.,sian Rea. tionaries. From .his point of 
view alone the Poli.,1, is to be condrm,,, ,1. .-.s i, ^.No 
any infringement of Belgian rights or the exrcuti,,,, „f Hr.;.-,h 
citurns— to say nothing of the insane i;-h„;,t pl;,n 

"Our future li, s ,u> the water." Ouiie rinht ; therefore 
11 IS not in Poland and Helgium. in l>.,„ce .md Serhi, 
This IS a return to the days of the Holy Kuipire 
and the mistakes of ih,' Hohenstaufens and It 
IS the policy of the I'lantngenets, not that of Drak,. and 
Raleigh, Nelson and Rhodes The policv of the Triple 
Alliance is a return to the past, a turning aside from the 
^■ture, from imperialism and a world-poliey. ■Middle 
Europe" belongs to the Mi.ldle Ages, Merlin-liagdad is a 
blind alley and not the way into the open country to 
unlimited possibilities, to the world-mission of the (ierman 

I am no enemy of Austria, or Hungary, or Italy, or .Serbia 
or any other state, but only of the Triple Alliance policy' 
which was bound to diyert us from our aims and bring us 
onto the inclined plane of a Continental policy. It was not 
tlie German policy, but that of the Austrian Imperial House 
The Austrian^ had come to regard the Alliance as an umbrella 
under the shelter of which they could m^- excursions to the 
■Near East when they thought lit 

And what must we expect as the result of this war of 
nations? The United Sta 
those of America, Austral 

I Stales of Africa will be Hritisji, like 


of Eu 

lia and Oi 


upe, as I predicted years , 

cariia. And the Latin 

go, \yill 

Sisters in 


enter into the 
leir Ijitin 

ith the United Kingdom that th. 

a maintain with the United States. The 



An({l<)-S:ix"n 'vill dominalr them. Kranir, rxliaustid hy the 
war. will li.r>.|f slill more iloscjy In (Irral itritain. 
.N'or will S|iaiii continiir' ii> rr>i.'-l tor long 

Anil ill .\sla ll'r [<usNi.iiis anil ihr Japanrsr will spread 
and will r.irry ihi-ir 1 iislinns with llit-ir frontiers, and the 
South will rnnain to the lirllish. 

I'he world will belong to the Anglo-Saxons, Kussians, 
and Japanrsr, and the (ierman will nma!i> with Austria 
and Hungary. Mis rule will be that «t 'hMught and of com- 
merce, not that of the Inireamrat and the soldier. He made 
his appearance too late, and his last 1 hance of making good 
the past, that of founding a ('ol.mial Knipire, ivas annihil.ited 
by the worl'I-war. 

For we shall 1 .it supplant the sons of Ichwe. Mien will 
be realisi I : . plan of the great Rhodes, who saw the 
salvation .■ Iiumaiiity in the expansion of Hritondom — in' 
British linperialis.n. 

Tu regere imp«riu populos, Romane, memento. 
Hae tibi erunt artci; pacisque Impoaere mcraoi, 
Piircere subjectis et debettare supcrlNM. 


Prinltit in armt Britnin tj Til Futn t QiillK (Bouci Cm) Ln 
Bream 'I BuiUUngi, London, t.C. 4.